First-term Rep. Kim Schrier squares off against Republican Jesse Jensen in Washington's 8th Congressional District

  • First-term Rep. Kim Schrier will face Jesse Jensen in Washington's 8th Congressional District.
  • The district is located in western Washington and is home to the communities of Auburn, Issaquah, Sammamish, Wenatchee, Ellensburg, and Leavenworth.
  • Schrier, pediatrician, is the first Democrat to ever represent the 8th District.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

First-term Rep. Kim Schrier looks to defend her seat against Republican Jesse Jensen in Washington's 8th Congressional District.

The candidates

Schrier, the incumbent, is a pediatrician with her own practice. She was spurred to run after being dissatisfied with the performance of her now-predecessor, Dave Reichert, regarding healthcare and the Affordable Care Act. While she originally planned to challenge Reichert, he announced his intent to retire following the end of his term. 

"Frankly, if Congress was doing its job, I would not have to run for office. I would be back holding little babies. But times have changed," Schrier said to her staffers according to a Seattle Times report.

Schrier is currently the only female physician serving in Congress and also the first Democrat to ever represent the 8th District. In Congress, she serves on the powerful House Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Education and Labor. 

Jensen, Schrier's Republican challenger, is a veteran of the US Army where he was an Army Ranger. Following his military service, he worked as the healthcare director for a kidney dialysis company before changing sectors and becoming a senior program manager for Amazon and Microsoft. His campaign platform is centered around ensuring high quality healthcare for veterans, reforming police departments, and protecting the environment.

The district

Washington's 8th Congressional District is located in the western region of the state and includes all of Chelan and Kittitas counties as well as parts of Douglas, Pierce, and King counties. The district is home to the communities of Auburn, Issaquah, Sammamish, Wenatchee, Ellensburg, and Leavenworth.

In the 2016 presidential election, the district voted for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over now-President Donald Trump in a 48-45 percentage point split of the vote, according to the Daily Kos.

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Schrier has raised $3.2 million for her campaign, substantially more than Jensen's $192,569. Schrier also holds a massive cash on hand advantage over her challenger. She has $2.4 million left to spend as the November election approaches, or 44 times more than Jensen with only $53,000 remaining.

What experts say

The race between Schrier and Jensen is rated as "safe Democratic" by Inside Elections, "likely Democratic" by the Cook Political Report, and "leans Democratic" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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